Brazil's federal government announced Tuesday that it will sign contracts worth 186 billion Brazilian Real ($53.5 billion) in new investments for power generation and electricity transmission until the end of 2018.
The investments are planned as part of the Investment Program in Electric Power (PEEIs) introduced by the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Minister of Mines and Energy Eduardo Braga on Tuesday.
According to the program, $33.3 billion worth of investments are planned for power generation, while $20.2 billion is planned for transmission lines. The program is devised to provide Brazil the necessary energy for its economic growth and to add predominantly clean and renewable sources in the country's energy mix, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said in a statement.
With the investments, the government plans to add between 25,000 and 31,500 megawatts (MW) of new power, of which between 10,000 to14,000 MW are planned to come from renewable energy, excluding hydroelectric power.
Almost 12,000 MW are expected to be generated by wind, solar and biomass, while the program aims to replace more expensive and more polluting fuels like fossil fuels.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2013 Brazil was the eighth biggest energy consumer in the world, and the third-largest in the Americas behind the U.S. and Canada.
Brazil has the second-largest oil reserves in South America after Venezuela. More than 80 percent of these reserves are located offshore and in 2013 oil constituted around 40 percent of Brazil's energy mix, according to the EIA.
Moreover, the country is the second largest producer and consumer of ethanol in the world after the U.S. Ethanol can be used for engines and motor vehicles when added to gasoline as a biofuel after it is derived and processed mainly from sugar or corn.
By Ovunc Kutlu